Over the last several months, VSI’s Texas Key Initiative Work Group has continued its efforts to help the vinyl siding industry make its case as the resilient, affordable, eco-friendly choice for home design and building in Texas.
As you may recall, architects and builders in Texas have more design freedom than ever before thanks to the passage of House Bill 2439 in 2019. The new law prohibits cities from requiring certain claddings, like brick, and prohibits aesthetic restrictions that increase the cost of construction and price thousands of Texans out of the housing market.
But passing this bill was just the first step. Texas is a state where vinyl siding is considered foreign, a true unknown. Educating consumers, code officials, architects, builders, and distributors is our next step.
To that end, VSI recently presented to the International Code Council’s (ICC) North Texas Chapter, which held its first in-person chapter meeting since the pandemic began. As part of the presentation, VSI consultant Fernando Ruiz-Pages delivered a one-hour training and educational session. He also provided each attendee with a packet containing installation instructions and VSI’s recently updated code resource guide.
Attendees of the session included multi-trade inspectors, fire officials, electrical inspectors, an architect and plans examiners.
According to Fernando, all participants were engaged and interactive. And while they were receptive to polymeric claddings overall, he noted, they believe their jurisdictions would not permit the material. He noted that one building official said, “If it’s not brick or stone, nobody wants it here.”
In addition to these presentations, VSI is taking additional awareness steps by creating educational materials that will help move the needle in Texas. As part of the Work Group’s request, we have set into motion the start of a case study on vinyl and polymeric cladded homes in Houston, Dallas and Austin.
The bottom line: We want to show Texans that materials like vinyl siding are not nearly as foreign as they think.
If your organization would like to participate in this case study – or future case studies –please reach out to Alex Fernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org.